Thursday, July 31, 2014

Camping in the Middle of Everywhere

"We cant live like monks."

This has been Mark's favorite phrase this past month.  and I have to agree.  We cant.  And if we try, the transition will be too painful and we wont follow through.  Society makes it too easy to conform, and so hard to forge your own path.  So we're on vacation.   Camping about half an hour from home.  Nothing major, but time away. 

There is no wifi here, so this post will have been written over two days at the campsite.  So far we have pitched the tents and are having a snack before the boys go fishing.  I don't fish, so I brought my art journal, which is more than enough to keep me occupied.  

"We cant live like Monks"

I know, I know.  Nor would I want to.  Other than the abundance of wine, I don't think I could get into the monastic lifestyle.   Admittedly,  the chanting and meditation would rock, but I think that's where it would end.  I just feel so much guilt every time we spend money.    Every.  Time.

So much.  But Mark does have an excellent point... we get what we pay for.  Example : If I buy a ten dollar pair of shoes, that's what im getting, and thats what ill be replacing in just a month or two.  Lets do the math... $15 a pair for... my feet stopped growing at 15...  thats 6 pair a year...  150 pairs of shoes at fifteen bucks a pop... $2,250 in shoes.  OR a 480 dollar pair of boots that will last me 20 years in sun, rain, or snow.  Much cheaper in the long run.  ( and yes, im still on the fence about buying these boots, but they DO last 20 years, seriously,  ask any Ren Faire player about the Native Earth boots). 

"We cant live like Monks"

I've been reading a lot of "how to downsize" books.  They're all the same.  'Get rid of everything you haven't touched in a year, everything you keep needs to be either useful or beautiful'.  The same thing, over and over.  At least three different books.  But nothing about how long it takes.  About how emotional it becomes.   Nothing about how you FEEL after you've tossed everything out.  Its all very clinical,  when it should be spiritual.   Its very zen. 

We've talked a bit this weekend about downsizing the house.  If we can get what we paid for it out of the house,  I'd have no problem moving into a mobile home or even an RV.  But we'd have to at least break even, and right now we won't.  The point is to REDUCE our debt load, not still be paying for something we don't even have anymore.   A smaller space to live in would make the downsizing easier.  There are points on both sides of the issue. 

"We cant live like Monks"

I can see my breath this morning.  Not something that we planned on for camping the last week of July.   So no sleeping bags, just blankets.   Trains going by and blowing their whistles every hour.   Coupled with no pads so we slept on the hard baked ground....  not a fun night.  But walking around the campsite this morn on my way to the bathroom (I don't get to pee in the woods like SOME people), there is a fog over the lake and over the river.  Quite beautiful.  

Ive already started a list of things well need if we make this camping a regular thing.  Top of the list is sleeping pads.  And sleeping bags.  Maybe NyQuil.  There has been talk of  getting a little pop up camper.  It would compliment my parents rv well.  There would be lots of family camping trips.  Again, cheaper than full blown vacationing,  so we can stick to the plan, and not go crazy.

"We cant live like Monks"

I need a bike.  And not just for camping., but for all the time.  It would save gas money at least.  For those little trips to the store for milk or laundry detergent.   Instead of getting in the car and driving there, I could just hop on the bike and get what we need.  Ive already asked my mom if I can borrow her bike, but ill have to learn to use hand breaks, something ive spent almost 40 years avoiding.   I dont know the problem I have with hand breaks, ive just never gotten the hang of them.  

"We cant live like Monks"

There are a couple of campers here with vintage Airstream campers that I have fallen in love with.  I live the lines the simplicity,  the 'cool factor' of the Airstream.  I think I could live in one of those comfortably.   I know I could.  Totally kitch it out.   Oh yeah.  Teal and tangerine.  Yes.  It must have an awning.  Teal and tangerine stripes.  And gypsy curtains.   Lounging pillows.  I wonder how much a vintage Airstream costs...
I could paint it creamsicle orange. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

and Frigga throws a little party

3 more lawn and leaf bags full of clothes and junk today.  that's a total of 8.  not to mention the breakable stuff that i didn't want to stick in a bag.  bags and boxes are lining the dining room floor waiting for people to pick them up, or to be delivered.  there is a huge plastic tub in my studio closet that's going to have to wait till RenFest season for us to schlep down to KC, as well as a bunch of stuff that i haven't found a tub for yet that goes to someone else in the KC area.  i'll be putting a bunch of patterns up on ebay tonight.  i've sold off my extra cauldrons.  and there is so much more that needs to go.

i'm in full on Frigga mode. so much so, that in the time it took me to type that sentence, i went into the kitchen and cleaned/threw out all the stuff on top of the fridge.  FULL.  ON.  FRIGGA.  MODE.  EVERYTHING MUST GO!

everything feels lighter.  it's weird, i know.  in my studio at least it actually IS lighter.  i got rid of enough crap to get rid of an entire dresser.  it's like there's more room to breathe.  room to stretch.  room to grow.  room to re-make our lives.

it's like the whole house is inhaling and exhaling.  like it can feel the purging we're doing and appreciates it.  greenhome, like earth, is a sentient being, and her arteries are finally becoming clear.  i may have also started my yoga practice up again and am just chock full if hippydom.

i know that a lot of people just don't understand what we're trying to do.  it kind of flys in the face of convention.  instead of getting a bigger house, newer clothes, and the most flashy gadget, we're trying to get rid of everything, sell the house, get rid of all our debt, and live on a tiny boat with no one to be accountable but ourselves.  real freedom.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

to new beginnings

so it's a new chapter in our lives.  and it's only fitting that as the era of the Very Nearly Hippy ends, the era of Our Weird Wyrd starts.  consider it a changing of the guard.  whatever.

for those of you that don't know me (which i find highly unlikely, but hey, it could happen), my name is Heather Tomasello.  I'm a mother of two, artist, yoga lover, experimental cook, and a Heathen. each of these things is ingrained in my phyche, so that's the stuff i talk about the most.   you'll learn to love it.  or your head will explode.  one or the other.

right now we're in the 10-15 year prep mode of THE PLAN.  you know THE PLAN.  the get-out-of-debt-and-save-a-bunch-of-money-and-buy-a-live-aboard-sailboat plan.  it involves downsizing, minimizing, and simplifying pretty much every aspect of our lives.  everything must go.  from junk and stuff to baggage both physical and emotional.  we're on a two week vacation right now, and i've already started going through and getting rid of stuff i don't use/don't need/and haven't touched in years.  when did i get so much crap?  it's maddening.  pretty much the only thing that isn't going are the actual sentient beings of the house.  us, the kids, and the cat.

i've also given myself another, more personal challenge.

i'm allowing myself to buy exactly 4 articles of clothing from now to next july.  and yes, this includes goodwill purchases.  just 4.  and a pair of shoes counts as two.  because between tee fury and cons, i seriously have tshirts and other things that i have NEVER EVEN WORN.  that's just not right.  and it sure as hell won't fit on a boat.  so stuff goes out, but does not come back in.

there are of course things that i'm going to hold on to as long as possible before giving them away or selling them.  Helga, my kitchenaid mixer is one.  before i set foot on the boat you will only get her if you pry her from my cold dead hands.  i'm not joking.  i have elaborate plans to take her with me in the event of a zombie outbreak.

so as THE PLAN progresses, i'll keep you all involved here.  i'm expecting set backs a plenty, because any plan we have always has bumps.  always.  and i'll try to post more regularly, now that i am blogging more about every aspect of our lives, not just the hippy dippy stuff.

i'm still hippy dippy, it's just not all of me